A few years ago I received a call from one of my editors on the Observer. ‘I want you to get all your pubic hair removed,’ Nicola said. ‘It will be great.’ Then she hung up. This was her usual strategy: propose an outrageous story but not leave you with any time to argue. She knew that, if the idea was good enough, I would come round eventually.
She was right. Two days later I phoned her back and, with a deep sigh, said ‘Okay, where am I going to have this done?’ The assignment – go along to an all male grooming clinic and find out what it was like to have every last hair removed, because apparently so many men were now doing it – would be painful. But it would be a hell of thing to write about afterwards.
I have similar feelings about launching my own site. I’ve resisted doing so for a long time because it seems a strange and rather grandiose thing to do. Plus, unfiltered by editors, there’s always the chance I’ll post something stupid, as I’ve found from to time over on Twitter. (I am an inveterate journalist, always looking for wiser minds than mine to save me from myself). And of course, bits of this site might not work. I feel as if I’ve just acquired a second home, with a roof that could leak.
Then again, the live show part of my working life has expanded and I need one place in which I can collect all the information for that. And there’s the books and the Kitchen Cabinet and so on. Hence jayrayner.co.uk. So welcome. Do have a look around. And if you find any of it that doesn’t work – say, on a particular type of tablet or phone – let me know via the email on the contact page and we’ll get it fixed. I’ll try to keep everything up to date, while attempting not to say anything stupid.
Meanwhile I need to link to something from here, so it might as well be that piece about getting all my hair removed. In places it’s an uncomfortable read. But that’s nothing as compared to actually having it done.